It’s been a long time…

Of course, as always, I have been working on stuff rather than posting it. Given what I have been working on, this state of affairs might change starting this summer. Because first I need to graduate. And be done with studying because I am starting to resent that (it’s the second one after all).

I suspect that my plans would make excellent blogging-material (or I might shift to the evil instagram entirely) if it’s artistified a bit. I apologise beforehand to the three of you who enjoyed these randomly compiled meandering sentences that never reach their destination… See, I’ve taken that and ran with it. I have never taken all of the tiny attempts at art in any way seriously, which is nuts, because it’s what I do all the time, because I want to, and think it’s interesting, no matter how often the frankly incompetent and dispiriting previous art teachers told me to start by taking a metaphorical dump and then appreciate it for its materiality. I should have told them that if they ask for shit then that’s what they get and I’m off to change the world with food now byeeeee.

So I am doing that retrospectively, I will be sharing here as an archive/documentation of a practice that I cannot yet define but that I feel is totally in line with all those things my dearest and coolest-as-a-cucumber friend and me said to each other totally drunk at 16, when we swore we’d be great and inspired people with interesting lives before communally hitting on the same South African waiter by commenting on his accent. Unsurprisingly, this did not work, but it seems like a solid basis for friendship as any. Having just read Big Magic, I suspect we meant that we wanted to work in romantic-but-not-crippling poverty and with a lack of sleep on something that we thought was the only thing we were ever good at and ever loved. Life has thrown a lot in both our faces since then, I’d argue that it was worse in his case and knowing him he will find a way to argue the opposite, and yet we are grudgingly admitting that we’re slowly but steadily getting where we want to go even if it doesn’t look like we thought it would.

And I’m fine if that means being the radiation canary in the post-apocalyptic world I’m so fond of imagining; it feels like a fitting moniker. Speaking of apocalypses: I can totally get behind the new Star Wars. I was starting to doubt my loyalty to Trek, but then I remember episode 1-3 and the general dead serious machismo and incest of 4-6 and this or “Kaaaaahhhhn” and then all is well. I may have been a Trekker first, but a female protagonist, humanised storm trooper and the best (/sexiest) pilot in the fleet and an excellently portrayed future Hitler do a lot to make me doubt my loyalties. Which probably makes me not a real Trekker but rather a mildly enthused fan of Spock. Oh, Spock. Also hyper-intelligent morally dubious space lizards.

Ps. This post has nothing to do with the accompanying totally pirated video montages. I enjoyed them, which is why I put them together. My dad says legally it falls under parody or collage (he studied law, I’m not just randomly quoting a family member) and therefore under fair use… Everything is a remix! Also, my mum, tactful as ever, remarked that they were way too long. So now it’s a triptych & the other one. Now they’re individually short and sparky.

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Sex +/-, een reactie.

Voor ik begin aan de daadwerkelijke reactie op het stuk Sex +/- op stellingdames.nl, moge het duidelijk zijn dat de persoonlijke aanval op Rosemarie Buikema en het beledigingetje over haar naam het opiniestuk onderuit haalt, omdat de opmerking door het gebrek aan body positivity enigszins ironisch is in een artikel over sex positief gedachtegoed. Om nog maar te zwijgen van hoe weinig feministisch het is om een vrouw in verband met haar uiterlijk persoonlijk aan te vallen, wat naast onbehoorlijk ook irrelevant is als we iemands gedachtegoed bespreken, al kan het zijn dat iedere subtiliteit en humor me ontgaat omdat ik één van de beste colleges van mijn studie van Rosemarie heb gehad.

Ik ben het ook niet eens met alle uitspraken van prof. dr. Buikema, maar het artikel gaat volledig voorbij aan terecht commentaar op het seksisme en de hyperseksualiteit aanwezig in onze huidige beeldcultuur. En dat is een beetje de baby van de tweede golf met het badwater weggooien. Ok, indirecte mensenhandel is ongevoelig en wat dramatisch gesteld. En de verscheurde multiculturele samenleving can, met alle respect, go fuck itself als lichaamsbedekking niet naast het tonen van naakte mensen kan bestaan. Maar dat neemt niet weg dat mijn generatie wel heel snel enthousiast doet over al wat met seks en blote vrouwen te maken heeft, zo ook de commerciële uiting ervan die ik zou scharen onder “verkoop”, en niet onder “naakt/bloot”. Iets hebben tegen de manier waarop naakte lichamen gebruikt worden in reclames en dit wellicht ongelijkwaardig of exploitatie vinden lijkt me, in de geest van de analyse van vrouwelijk naakt in musea door de Guerrilla Girls, allerminst seks-negatief, en eerder een logische stap in het bewerkstelligen van gelijkwaardigheid in representatie. Wat me dan weer een goed begin lijkt van het sekspositieve mensen in staat stellen om in alle vrijheid en gelijkwaardigheid zonder schaamte kunnen doen en laten wat ze willen. En ik sta met plezier aan de verkeerde kant van de geschiedenis als de verkeerde kant zich af en toe uitspreekt tegen het gebruik van (vaak naakte, gephotoshopte, geseksualiseerde) lichamen met als doel mensen onzeker, begeerlijk of blij te maken om ze producten aan te smeren.

Misschien is dat de denkfout die uit het artikel naar voren komt, dat er maar één antwoord mogelijk zou zijn, en dat de rest “verkeerd” is, alsof jezelf bedekken of celibatair zijn niet evengoed een legitieme keuze is als dat het tonen van je naakte lichaam dat is (free the nipple!). Beiden mogen, en het is schadelijk om daarbij het één legitiemer te doen overkomen dan het ander als het hele idee keuzevrijheid is, en we dus rationeel gezien dus tegelijkertijd radicaal voor het bedekken en het tonen van het lichaam zijn en zelf een keuze maken die we als persoonlijk presenteren. Maar dat staat los van de moraliteit van het commerciële gebruik van beelden. En het bejubelen van reclame is het voorbij gaan aan dat reclame dusdanig sturend en alomtegenwoordig is dat het een hoop diversiteit de nek omdraait. En ik vraag me, als seculiere weinig preutse kunstenaar die niets tegen naakt, porno óf lichaamsbedekking heeft, af waarom het overal getoond moet worden, te meer omdat het doel klaarblijkelijk niet het tonen van naakt, maar het verkopen van iets is. Dus waarom moet ik dan met een bombardement van normatief beeldgebruik wordt bestookt als ik besluit mijn huis te verlaten of het internet op ga? Dat lijkt me een vraag die we op z’n minst kunnen stellen en die weinig te maken heeft met sekspositivisme en álles met consumentisme en neoliberaal kapitalistisch gedachtegoed. En dan hebben we het er nog niet over gehad dat vrijwel alle beelden om ons heen een achterhaald idee van vrouwen die bekeken worden en mannen die kijken benadrukt (alsmede de valse tweedeling tussen mannen en vrouwen). Maar dit is niets nieuws na de Guerrilla Girls. Alles is misschien wat subtieler en gecompliceerder geworden, maar zoveel is er de afgelopen 30 jaar niet veranderd.

Ja, het is gênant dat posters over menstruatie worden verwijderd, en ik denk niet dat we een ‘grens van het toelaatbare’ of iets dergelijks kunnen trekken zonder censuur toe te passen. Dus ik zou niet de beelden maar de commercie erachter als punt ter discussie willen stellen. Ik ben zowel de eindeloze promotie van grenzeloze consumptie als een sensuele aangelegenheid, als de eindeloze herhaling van één mensbeeld met zo weinig variatie dat zelfs de vrouwen van Dove amper een verbetering zijn, meer dan zat. ‘Pornoficering’ tussen haakjes plaatsen neemt niet weg dat we wellicht wat langer stil zouden mogen staan bij de betekenis en het effect van de beelden die we als beeldmakers kiezen te gebruiken en die ons als mensen in het dagelijks leven door de strot geduwd worden, want er is weinig democratisch of artistieks (of ik zou zelfs beargumenteren echt naakts) aan hoe commerciële beeldcultuur functioneert. Want die cultuur is op z’n eigen manier zowel enorm geseksualiseerd als onbegrijpelijk preuts, en waarom is dat en hoe beïnvloed het de mensen die erin leven? Door een combinatie van de persoonlijke aanval en de vrolijke toon van het artikel Sex +/- vroeg ik me af in hoeverre onze generatie zich nog bewust is van het kapitalisme waar we door omringd worden, want ik merk zelf dat ik het vaak zo volkomen normaal vind dat ik het niet meer zie en dat ik mijn eigen consumentisme als een volledig geaccepteerde amorele houding ervaar, terwijl, zoals jullie H&M artikel stelt, het systeem bizar, afschuwelijk, ironisch en anti-feministisch is en dat consumptie wellicht daarmee immoreel, niet amoreel is.

Ik zou zelf zeggen, zonder enige onderbouwing, dat onze huidige beeldcultuur diversiteit noch geluk in de hand werkt, en dat als het de man-vrouw verhouding al rechttrekt, het dit aan het doen is door op mannen dezelfde body-shaming ‘perfectie’-promoting nonsens los te laten als al eeuwen en eeuwen op vrouwen wordt gedaan, terwijl het alles buiten de opties man-vrouw negeert. En dat is geen vooruitgang. Dat is samen even ongelukkig, ontevreden en anti-rimpel-crème-behoevend worden terwijl we onszelf in een hokje “vrouw” of “man” proberen te persen. En dat is iets wat mij vooralsnog niet is gelukt.

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Belated bday reflection part 3: Edible Jurassic Park.

This story comes to you in 3 parts (and I suspect it will get better with each one). All are over half a year late. All are birthday related. They have been edited in a little bit of time where it seemed the computer would not give out. I hope to get back with new posts asap, depending on when the computer works again. Forgive the long wait. If anyone is still reading this. Anyway, 3 parts: Breakfast, Cake and Edible Dinosaur Landscape.

Part 3: Edible Jurassic-period birthday surprise (a.k.a. the best gift éver).

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I had not expected any presents this year, because we are all broke and at some point in February my parents had been gracious enough to buy me the fucking expensive waterproof ebook that I am now reading Dune on because I had corroded the butt of the Kindle through frequent use in the bath. I was just really really grateful to have an ebook. But my mum would not be my mum if she did not come up with some outlandish idea that didn’t cost anything more than what was already in the house, but that was on a less pragmatic and purely emotional level about 30.000 times better than an ebook. I already posted quite a cute preview way back when I went on hiatus (whereas now I am back but my computer is on hiatus :( ). Like that time she found a discount night light in the shape of a cow and thought that was a bit of a sorry gift so she bought a pair of pajama’s that happened to cost 4 euro and I still dream of those pajamas and wish I had them again. She was somewhat embarrassed to present this as a gif, but I cannot think of a time that I have received a nicer one. Though this dinosaur-landscape is much much cooler and impressive, if not for sleeping in.

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Yes, there are dinosaur crackers in the shape of a tyrannosaur, stegosaur, brontosaur, spinosaur (no, hadn’t heard of that one before either) and triceratops. And while the brontosaur might now be fictional, I will never stop loving it, if only for that part in the Simpsons where Lisa says “Brontë sisters” and Maggie shows her a picture of a brontosaur and Lisa answers “Oh, Maggie, don’t ever turn two”. If only the pterosaurs could have circled pepper-tomato-eruption-volcano.

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But seriously, these picture don’t do it justice. I think this might be even more exciting for 3 year olds, but that could very well not be true. I honestly doubt if it is possible to be more excited by this than I was. I came down unsuspectingly, although there was some shouting of “don’t come down, we’re busy, you can’t come down”, and then I had to pee so there was some secrecy as I got to the toilet without looking in the kitchen, but I was not quite prepared for the full effect of suddenly being served this thoroughly convincing landscape (at least for a non-geologist/archeologist) full of animals/crackers I had, and let’s be fair here, been obsessing over for wééks. It was also really delicious, especially because despite the sheer number of cakes posted here, I am more of a fiend of savoury food.

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There were actual mayonnaise puddles, people. Herbed mayonaise puddles. Which crunchy dinosaurs could be dipped into before their sad and untimely extinction <3. Accompanied by a volcano erupting spicy tomato sauce and red peppers. And lots of arugula. I love arugula. And baked potatoes, which are the best thing I can imagine. There was also some tempeh. I don’t know what else to add. I would suggest anyone just buy some animal cookie cutters and go nuts, be it in cake-form or in giant salad. I don’t think there is a limit to this formula of building landscapes and adding animals. Next year Star Trek cake with actual Enterprises?

Ps. My mum keeps saying that this would be a great way to cater children’s parties, and I disagree: it is also a great way to cater parties for adults.

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Kokosyoghurt voor Melk, je kan zonder!

kokosyoghurt

Ingrediënten:

  • 2/3 cup geweekte cashewnoten
  • 800 ml kokosmelk (2 blikjes)
  • 200 ml sojamelk
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum (optioneel)
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt (sojade of van vorige)

Blend alles behalve de yoghurt, tot het helemaal romig is. Warm op tot 43 graden (als je geen thermometer hebt: dat voelt lauwwarm). Klop de 1/4 cup yoghurt erdoorheen. Doe in glazen potten met fijne deksel. Ik ben begonnen met sojade omdat daar geen suiker of verdikking in zit. Sindsdien maak ik, als ik de yoghurt in de potten doe, alvast een mini-potje van 1/4 cup dat ik mee laat culturen met de grote potten en de volgende keer gewoon direct door het lauwe kokosmengsel kan roeren. Laat de cultuur 8 uur ontwikkelen in een dehydrator op 43 graden. Dit werkt uitstekend omdat de dehydrator een constante temperatuur heeft die ideaal is voor yoghurt. 

Schommelingen in temperatuur of te hoge of te lage temperatuur, waardoor de goede bacteriën niet groeien, zorgen voor gedoe. Ik vermoed dat de oven kort voorverwarmen, op de laagste stand en dan de yoghurt daarin laten beginnen, ook een optie is, of langer wachten, dus het is even zoeken naar wat er het beste voor je werkt met de spullen die je hebt. Een collega maakt yoghurt met sojamelk in de koelkast, wat een paar dagen kost, maar dat is misschien handiger als je verder geen stabiele temperatuur buiten de koelkast hebt. Na het culturen kan ie gewoon in de koelkast en is ie hetzelfde als iedere andere yoghurt.

Wil je meer iets kwarkigs, gebruik dan een theelepel guar gom. Geen guar gom? Ik vermoed dat xanthaangom ook zou werken, maar zonder kan ook prima, alleen is het dan meer drinkyoghurt. Het kan nog steeds goed over muesli en fruit en in smoothies en er zitten nog steeds supergezonde bacteriën in! Is ook heel erg lekker met appels, kaneel, rozijnen en een theelepel palmsuiker, net appeltaartyoghurt. En andersom is het als sausje over appeltaart ook heerlijk!

Ps. Dit recept is geïnspireerd door het recept in Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese. Er staat ook een yoghurtrecept in haar andere geweldige boek The Homemade Vegan Pantry, en het boterrecept is ook briljant. Ik heb nog geen bladerdeeg ermee gemaakt, maar de boter an sich is veelbelovend. Zie ook het volgende recept voor ‘buffel’ mozzarella.

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Belated bday reflection part 2: Cake.

This story comes to you in 3 parts (and I suspect it will get better with each one). All are over half a year late. All are birthday related. They have been edited in a little bit of time where it seemed the computer would not give out. I hope to get back with new posts asap, depending on when the computer works again. Forgive the long wait. If anyone is still reading this. Anyway, 3 parts: Breakfast, Cake and Edible Dinosaur Landscape.

Part 2: Cake.
I not just bungled my sister’s birthday. I also baked her an enormous cake. One for her, one for me. Hers was without nuts, because we differ of opinion. I think they add much needed texture, she thinks they ruin whatever they are in. We regularly catch her sneaking raisins out of the muesli, simply because raisins are great but nuts and oats are crunchy bits of uselessness. So I made her a cake especially. And then she was sick and threw up. Which is sad on any birthday, but especially if your main gifts is a large elaborate Comfort-Food inspired Swartzwalder Kirsch. She did eat a frightening amount two days later when she had recovered.

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I also can’t seem to get the hang of chocolate curls, which annoys me to no end. One would not expect this cake to be the picture of health. It is not, but it also isn’t that bad. It is the low-fat bundt from Veganomicon with some cherry puree instead of apple, and the fillings are all from Vegan Pie in the Sky, but in such a way that they are now largely sugar free and sweetened with stevia. People have commented that it tastes not necessarily healthy, but less like a brick on the stomach than the regular Schwartzwalder, so they were not sad about the healthy. And a professional baker at the local market, I repeat, a professional baker  complimented me on it. He especially liked the cream filling, and he tasted the prototype that had some raspberry pips in there that I thought ruined it. So it must be really good. He had not expected the answer to “what is that cream made of?” to be tofu.

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I just need to check how it is with copyright on recipes, because I cannot simply copy here the recipe from a book with some tweaks and then go “yes, that is my recipe”. But if it turns out that I can share this recipe, I definitely will. I have shared it with many many friends in an unofficial capacity, because the chocolate mousse was a bit of a hit. And while I may be getting close to accomplished chef territory, but one really does not need to be to blend some tofu with some chocolate and then top that with whatever berries they have lying around. But I have more recipes like that and I will share those in due time. In short, all parts of the birthday cake inspired by Jamie Oliver were a smashing hit! It might be the best cake I have ever tasted, despite its healthiness. If I can, I will share the recipe, and with it the story of how the first attempt was such a disaster that the friend I was with and I eventually dubbed it “trifle”. And bloody delicious trifle it was.

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Belated bday reflection part 1: Breakfast.

This story comes to you in 3 parts (and I suspect it will get better with each one). All are over half a year late. All are birthday related. They have been edited in a little bit of time where it seemed the computer would not give out. I hope to get back with new posts asap, depending on when the computer works again. Forgive the long wait. If anyone is still reading this. Anyway, 3 parts: Breakfast, Cake and Edible Dinosaur Landscape.

We could today discuss how I am struggling with big questions of life, the universe and everything and am sometimes forced to answer 42 to keep sane, or how while I should delve deeper into the academic theory that is making me ask the questions I may or may not have lost myself a bit in reading Dune. Dune is awesome! I love Dune. I have just finished God Emperor of Dune and the whole nature-mysticism-futuretelling-sandworm thing (and this picture, which has nothing to do with the book but is always in my mind) is enthralling. I think there might be a lot of inspired use of dramatic irony because of the prescience. 

Part 1: Breakfast.

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We could also discuss how I now have an unethical phone that is so large that I can barely fit it into my tiny people hands and that I really cannot afford as my computer is still slowly dying on me. Or we could discuss how this is all totally irrelevant given the state of the world and the stories about refugees in the news, and then I’ll cry. But I’ve done what little I can and will think about that more privately and crying or guilt over phones will help no-one. So instead I will give you lots of picture of what was, after a pair particularly comfortable pajamas, the best present ever! E-VUR! Also, despite how conflicted I might feel about the new phone, I did start instagramming again. And leaving aside the terrible ethical implications of that: the app is excellent at editing tiny pictures without photoshop and I am first and foremost unreasonably proud of the food photography I put on there. So instead we’re doing a little series on something that happened over half a year ago.

This is the birthday-breakfast(/dessert) my sister had in February. I don’t think I ever mentioned on this blog that my sister and I were born a day after the other. Not as in twins, but two years after me, she arrived the day before my birthday. We could argue she was a special present, or that specific curse similar to being born close to christmas meaning you’ll never have as cool a birthday as everyone else. We just have two days of birthdays, and for some reason that just means it is half the fun. Luckily I don’t give a toss about birthdays, and she is as far as I can tell not capable of grasping the concept of birthday and is just intensely thrilled and pleasantly surprised that people come to her bed and give her her favorite cheesecake and sing to her. Mind you, she’s also super happy that every Saturday morning my mum brings her toast and tea as she watches videos of babies on the iPad, so it is all relative.

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She’s also impossible to buy gifts for. I have decided that next year I’ll buy her two of her favorite bath sponges, two plastics lobsters and a few glossies for a grand total of 20 euros, because I didn’t, after a very long search of HEMA, manage to make her happy this year. I did scare her with those roll-out party-whistle thingies though, so that wasn’t good. It’s like with balloons (which she now loves but used to hate): I sometimes forget what makes her very happy and what terrifies her. The striped wrapping her gifts came in was actually the best present of all. She did not mind being showered in confetti after we blew out the candles per se, but the only family members I managed to thoroughly enthuse were the kittens. But we look quite cute, unwashed and in the middle of blowing out candles at 7.30 a.m., so I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the picture above.

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17/07/2015: To end on a necklace.

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Not precisely sure how to end this experiment. I’ve already looked back on it, and I think the outfit above is a particularly smashing one (that blouse was unethically cheap because nobody wanted it or fit into it, but I’m short and like baggy things with clear lines and red details, so this was apparently made for me). To finish this in style, I will celebrate a clothing-related find: this necklace I found at EYE museum featuring the symbol of Twin Peak’s Owl Cave. It’s Kate Rowlands’ (she’s also on Etsy). She makes absolutely gorgeous things. If I was a wearer of blouses buttoned to the top I’d have definitely gotten those Twin Peaks buttons as well. I adore Twin Peaks, as I adore most more or less classic shows with main characters as absolutely gorgeous as a young Agent Cooper (and David Duchovny who manages to pull of a skirt, but that is in an otherwise terrible season regrettably). I absolutely love this necklace and the shop it came from and the little Twin Peaks sticker that was on the packet and the fact that the material it was sent in could be recycled. I wear it almost all the time now. I asked for the chain to be a bit longer than the shop offered, and how sweet is it that you can just ask the designer about that! If this kind of jewelry is your thing, I’d definitely check it out and support Kate’s shop. I know I was not promoting buying anything, but this seems about as ethical as it will get

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To end the Outfits a Day here: it was informative and quite tiring to keep this up. There were more technical and personal hiccups than I’d have liked. That is life. I have cooked and experimented a frankly nauseating amount of stuff over the holidays, and have almost mastered the macaron. I have definitely mastered aquafaba eggs, at least for a bit, so I will report back, with pictures of how the cats became the huge monsters they are now, and that dinosaur birthday landscape I keep promising. That was great. So I’ll be back to some semblance of scheduled posts if and when the computer is functioning again and I no longer have to type this on an iPhone and edit pictures in-between frantic emailing hoping the screen will not give out.

PS. Now I really really want a shirt with cuff links <3.

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16/08/2015: Stroke of brilliance.

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I realized everything looks good when combined with dungarees. Seriously. They’re not overly practical, but these have a zip in the back and the others are tiny so that works out alright with the toilet. I also adore the feeling of being in  a shell/cocoon that goes all the way up to the top. Somehow the little bib-bit on the dungaree always makes me feel more protected than other tops do. Maybe it’s because the denim is quite tough and it is like a tiny modern-day suit of armour. This is probably a weird thought.

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15/08/2015: Brigitte Bardot.

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I really liked this combo. I am not entirely sure if it looks flattering? But fuck flattering, it is quite a nice statement, and I feel like I could just hop on the back of a Vespa with a pizza or something. I don’t know, I have seen maybe one movie with Brigitte Bardot and mainly associate her with panther print and a Harley Davidson.

Note: I’m definitely starting to wonder at what point my brain connected an over-romanticised notion of Italian cinema/life to the French actress Brigitte Bardot. I understand that I had to think of her given the outfit and the size of my breasts in it, but then where did that Vespa come from?

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14/08/2015: End to this project.

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So in two days this project comes to an end becasue I am lazy and can never stick with stuff long enough (ok, honestly I can, but not with this computer and not if I think I’ve learned all I’ll ever learn from an experiment). And it is impossible to edit anything on the computer that might give out any second and work perfectly again for a few days before becoming all temperamental again. What have we learnt in almost 3 months? I have learnt that I am not a girl but a woman (fuck you Britney), that I overthink everything, and that while I am very much a womanly woman, that is in a “I don’t think that means, what you think it means”-way. My mind and body are a whole that I feel ‘match’ on some deep level that is probably just hormones telling me they’re happy, but that whole does not match societal expectations of the label woman, and I suspect that is maybe the same for a large part of people becasue everyone is a person not a tiny entity in a neatly labeled box, but I also suspect that not knowing which box to temporarily occupy does not necessarily make things easier. Anyway, I have learnt that I will use anything as an excuse to think more, that not-buying stuff is not always the best idea, but that it is much better than buying everything in sight simply because I can (or because it is in a shop and I cannot resist even though I should because most of the time I can’t afford it anyway). I don’t know. I think everyone should take many many pictures and think about style if they have the time, though maybe not quite as publicly as I have. But that is my perpetual question, if this is nice to share and important, or useless in a sea of information overload that is the internet and images and all of the things that are out there but don’t matter. But then I want to share, and in the end isn’t that the only central thought the internet is based on, be it with angry trolls or lovely activists.

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